Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) was founded with a mission to help Scandinavians experience more of the world—and it has done just that. Seventy years later, the airline transports more than 28 million passengers to 119 destinations around Europe, the United States and Asia each year. However, the changing face of the airline industry means that new strategies are needed to succeed and attract customers long before take-off.
“Surging oil prices, fluctuating currencies and new, low-cost entrants to the market are just a few factors affecting our business and our bottom line,” says Didrik Fjeldstad, Vice President of Marketing, SAS. “We want to redefine the travel experience and find ways to generate revenue outside of the actual plane.”
The biggest opportunity for SAS lies with its frequent flyers—those who travel five or more times annually with the airline. These customers view travel as a form of self-realisation, exploration and discovery. For them, travelling is a lifestyle.
“SAS is no longer just an airline company. We are a lifestyle brand that connects to traveller on an emotional level,” says Fjeldstad. “We want to get closer to our customers and offer them more personalised experiences.”
To accomplish this, SAS needed to integrate customers’ online and off-line experiences—from booking flights, visits to the airport lounge, in-plane experiences and destination offerings to helping arrange a dog sitter or grocery delivery while away. This level of insight would enable SAS to create dynamic travel packages that provide more than just a seat on a plane.
Standing in the way of this was a fragmented marketing environment, which made it difficult to collaborate and gather the data and insights needed to offer truly personalised experiences. As a result, SAS set out to streamline its internal processes to cost-effectively provide customers with value-added services across marketing channels.